Golden State Warriors point guard Steph Curry has won six NBA championships with the squad, and is widely considered one of the best shooters in the history of the game. He’s broken the records for most threes scored in a single season, in a single game, in a career (over 2,800), and more. His wild shooting range is a big part of why. Today he’s known for his ability to make long-range 3-point shots from well beyond the arc with great consistency, knocking down many “impossible” shots. As Steph has shown, a player with a good shooting range stretches the defense by making them come all the way out, and in doing so creates scoring opportunities for themselves and their teammates. So today, we’ll take a look at some of the best basketball shooting drills for increasing range.
Another example of a dynamic long-range shooter is Diana Taurasi: a 10-time WNBA All-Star who has made over 400 3-pointers in her career with a 3-point shooting percentage of 37.1%. When asked about how she developed her shooting skills, Diana credits much of her success to dedication to practice.
In an interview with USA Basketball, she said, “I think it’s all about repetition and practice. I think the more you do it, the more you’re comfortable with it, and the better you get at it. It’s like anything else… I think that’s the key to shooting, is just getting up a lot of reps and a lot of shots.”
She has also emphasized the importance of having a consistent routine and approach to shooting, saying:
“I always try to have the same routine, whether I’m shooting well or not shooting well. I think that’s really important, because if you don’t have a routine and you’re just kind of winging it, you’re not going to be as consistent. So I try to have the same routine, whether I’m making every shot or missing every shot.”
So start putting in your long-range shooting work today, and create a routine you like, that you can do every day. Below you’ll find five of our favorite shooting drills. We keep you close to the three point line to begin, but you can push yourself by starting any of these drills further back. Keep track of how you do with each drill (one of the best basketball apps – Nike’s Homecourt can easily help you track – and the basic level is free!) so you can see your progression over time. So grab your best indoor or outdoor basketball and get to work! (If you need a new ball, we recommend the Evolution – size 7 for men, 6 for women, 5 for kids.)
This is a solo drill, no partner needed. Start from any spot right behind the three line: it doesn’t have to be in the center of the court, pick your favorite spot Shoot from there until you make two shots in a row. Then move your spot backwards two feet. Shoot from there until you make two shots in a row. Move your spot backwards two feet again, and make two more in a row. Something to keep in mind as you move backwards is to lower your shot’s set point. Give yourself a maximum of 5 minutes to complete the drill. If you struggle with it, move in first and build some success and confidence there, before working on that deep of range again.
OK if you didn’t do so well on the first drill, this definitely what you should try next. This is another solo drill. This one starts very close to the basket and progressively moves you back, pushing your range. You’re going to make 25 shots in total from 5 different starting points, stepping back two feet each time. Start shooting at the bottom of the key block to the right. Basically you must make a shot there, and then take two steps back, and make a shot there, and so on. The key is that every time you miss, you go back one placement. Time yourself, and then see if you can beat your time during future sessions. You can also place your starting spots back further, so that you have more shots to make beyond the three arc.
This drill can be done solo or with a partner. You need to make a three at five different spots in a very specific order. You’ll start in the lower right corner and go from there. The key is you have to make them all. If you miss any, you have to re-start. With a partner to rebound, your goal is to complete the drill in 30 seconds. Without a partner to allow time for rebounding it’s 1 minute and 30 seconds. To increase your range even further and make it more challenging, you can move all 5 spots back 2-3 feet from the three line. If you’re struggling to beat a time, just see if you can complete the drill, period!
Now it’s time we add some more realistic movement into your range shooting. This drill is all about mimicking game-like situations. This can be a partner drill if you have someone to pass you the ball, or it can be a solo drill and you can just dribble into your shots. You’re going to do some shooting from three different spots. To begin, you’ll start near the middle of the court and run into a transition three at the top of the three. At this spot, the first time through, you just need to make two shots, they don’t need to be in a row. Then, move to a side of the court and cut from the side into the three. Make two shots – doesn’t have to be in a row – here. Same thing on the other side. OK you’ve done one round. There are three rounds to this drill. The second round you make your two shots running into each spot but they have to be in a row – it’s OK if you miss before making two in a row. The third round, you can’t miss at all, or you don’t progress to the next spot. Time yourself to see how long it takes you to get through the whole drill, and try to beat your time next time.
For this drill you will need a partner. You shoot from anywhere behind the three line. All of your made shots are worth 1 point. Your partner rebounds. Anything you miss, they put back from exactly where the rebound comes in (only one ball bounce allowed – if they don’t get it by then, it goes back to the other shooter). All of the rebounders baskets are worth 2 points. At 20 points – whoever gets it first – you both switch positions. The goal is to handle the pressure (its obviously much harder to be the three shooter) and get to 80 total points first to win.
The best day to start improving your range is always the current day! So get out there, and get after it. To improve all aspects of your shot, check out the best shooting drills, or if you’re newer to the game, the best shooting drills for beginners.